Danny Moore.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl on Monday announced Danny Moore as her running mate, a Navy veteran and entrepreneur who stoked controversy last year when he was removed as head of Colorado’s Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission over his social media posts about the 2020 presidential election.

“Danny is a wonderful addition to our winning team,” Ganahl said in a written statement. “We share a common vision to lower Colorado’s soaring cost of living, gas prices (and) crime rates.”

Moore, who is Black, lives in Centennial and is a retired Navy master chief. He is the president and owner of DeNOVO Solutions, a technology firm catering to the military, and president of Thornberry Consulting, which works with the Department of Defense.

Danny Moore. (Handout)

“As a retired Navy Veteran and a successful small business entrepreneur with nearly 40 years of leadership experience, I will be mission-focused and deliver what is best for Colorado,” Moore said in a written statement. 

In Colorado, gubernatorial candidates select who they want to be their lieutenant governor. Democratic Gov. Jared Polis is running with Dianne Primavera, a former state representative who currently serves as his No. 2.

Lieutenant governor is a mostly ceremonial position in Colorado, though the person appointed to the job often takes on one or two major agenda items. Primavera, for instance, also leads the Polis administration’s efforts to reduce health care costs. 

In April 2021, Moore was removed as chair of the Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission in a unanimous vote by his fellow commissioners after 9News reported that he had made Facebook posts questioning the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

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According to 9News, Moore made the false claim that President Joe Biden won in 2020 because Democrats stole the contest from Donald Trump. Moore also referred to COVID-19 on social media as the “Chinese virus.”

The Gazette also scoured Moore’s social media posts, finding that in the first months of the pandemic he referred to CNN as the “Chineses [sic] News Network” and that he accused the news outlet of “lying to the American people and endangering the lives of American’s [sic] and those of the world.”

Moore was unanimously removed as chair after he rebuffed requests from fellow commissioners to step down voluntarily. He was randomly selected as a member of the 12-member redistricting panel after applying for the unpaid job.

In June 2021, Moore, in an interview with Jon Caldara of the Independence Institute, said that there are “tremendous questions around the election” when asked whether Trump was the rightful winner in 2020 and whether the contest was stolen.

“To be put down and criticized for simply asking the question, that is un-American,” he said.

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In a statement to The Sun, Ganahl’s campaign brushed off the 2021 controversy. 

“Heidi and Danny are united in their commitment and focus on winning this November,” said Lexi Swearingen, a spokeswoman for Ganahl. “They agree Joe Biden is our president and Jared Polis is our governor and that we need to do everything we can to change that this November and in 2024. Election integrity is paramount and we must work to restore voter confidence.”

Ganahl refused, until recently, to directly answer whether the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump, only answering the question for months by saying that Joe Biden is the president.

“I don’t believe there was enough fraud that would have flipped the election,” she told The Colorado Sun and CBS4 in a June interview.

Ganahl initially said she was going to announce her running mate earlier this month, and Colorado Politics reported that Las Animas County Commissioner Felix Lopez would be her pick. However, the Colorado Politics story was later retracted and Lopez told 9News that conversations about being Ganahl’s running mate were still ongoing.

Ganahl faces an uphill battle in trying to unseat Polis in November.

Heidi Ganahl announces her run for governor on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, at Rosie’s Diner in Monument. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun)

Polis polls well among Colorado voters and is a deep-pocketed, self-funding candidate. He has already spent more than $5 million of his own money on his 2022 reelection bid after dropping more than $23 million to win his first term in 2018.

Ganahl, by comparison, had less than $50,000 in her campaign’s bank account on June 22.

Ganahl loaned her campaign $100,000 on July 1, bringing her personal investment in her campaign to $500,000.